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BMC Public Health

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BACKGROUND: Causes of child undernutrition are diverse and change in space and time. Investigating current determinants of undernutrition remains vital to design an effective intervention strategy. The study assessed prevalence of undernutrition and its associated factors among children living in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

METHODS: A community based cross-sectional study was conducted in 459 school age children and their parents or caregivers living in Lideta sub-city, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Participants were selected using a multi-stage simple random sampling technique. Height and weight of children was measured and their parents or care givers were interviewed for factors associated with undernutrition.

RESULTS: About 31% (n = 141) of the children were undernourished (19.6% stunted, 15.9% underweight). Being male, higher birth order (>2), larger family size (6-8), low meal frequency (≤3 times) in a day prior to the survey and mud floor house were significantly associated with undernutrition. Similarly, the risk of underweight increased significantly with an increase in age, birth order, family size and also the absence of hand washing facilities. The odds of undernutrition was lower in children born to 20-30 years old mothers compared to those born to mothers younger than 20 years.

CONCLUSIONS: Undernutrition is prevalent among school age children living in Lideta sub city, Addis Ababa. Policy makers should consider school age children in their nutrition policy documents and implement screening program and intervention strategy.



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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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